Multi Room Home Audio/Video Advice

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by Owen824, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Owen824

    Owen824
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    I have recently bought a new flat. It is in fact not new though (1868) located in an old stone building as most are here in edinburgh. Anyways, it needs a lot of renovation which i will be carrying out including a partial rewire. I am interested in installing a multi room audio/video system in the place and would like some suggestions as I am having troubles deciding which is the easiest route to do this. I have about £1500 which i know is probably a bit tight but i have already bought the high defintion lcd and currently have a sony surround sound though would like to get something better if that is possible with this budget. I could stretch to £2000 to include a new surround sound. so here's basically what i am aiming for:
    • The system will be set up in the living room and everything will run from there.
    • In the lounge i will have 40" sony lcd, hd telewest box, hopefully a new surround sound system and an xbox 360
    • I would like audio/video sent to the kitchen to my 32 sony lcd and i would like two speakers for music in the ceiling.
    • I would also like the same for the bedroom 1 and bedroom 2 and if possible 2 speakers in the bathroom ceiling.

    The kitchen, bedroom and bathroom are all quite close to the lounge. bedroom 2 is past the kitchen and is a wee bit further but like i said i am renovating so laying cable is no problem. Can anyone reccomend a system or some sort of setup that would do this for me. I am not bothered about being able to play different music, movoies etc at the same time. I just want to be able to go from the lounge to the kitchen and watch or liste to the same thing, though that would be a bonus if i could have different things going on in different rooms, but not essential. Any advice or suggestions anyone could give me would be very grateful. I do not move in for two months so still in early planning stages.
     
  2. Pop up Dragon

    Pop up Dragon
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    Hi
    I think with the money you have to spend you might want to look away from a multi room system.If you want to improve what you have sell or trade in your av system(or keep it for another option) and buy a new one,with the money you have you should get a good one.If the flat is going to get turned upside down run the cables now for a multiroom system and when you have the funds do the job properly.
    Now for the other option with your old kit,run the cables for the multiroom.Get the speakers you need(good in ceilings cost from about £200...and yes you can find ones costing less but thats what it takes..remember if its worth doing).Set up your old system to drive these through a GOOD speaker swicth(you can get them that drive up to 8 pairs) and there you go.Better AV,music in all your rooms ,only spent what you can afford and the structure in place to do a full multiroom when funds are there.
    Most multiroom systems need speaker cable and CaT5 for control,if you want video switching as part of the multiroom and want something better than composite go and speak to a proper installer.
     
  3. neilball

    neilball
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    For your budget I'd recomend that you consider new AV receivers to give you simple a/v distribution to 2 zones. You'll not be able to do everthting within your budget but better to spend the money on decent quality and adding in the other rooms later as funds allow rather than trying to do everything now and being disapointed with the end result.

    For the main room & kitchen I would look at using one of the new AV receivers that support zone 2 audio & video. You would then have 5.1 audio i the lounge and stereo in the kitchen. Video in the lounge would be all sources converted to component or HDMI and upscaled to 720/1080 depending on the receiver you choose. Most AV receivers with zone 2 video use composite only for zone 2 but at least it would be convenient. The kitchen would need video & speaker cables from your AV receiver location as well as a suitable cable for IR control to allow source control from the Kitchen or use an RF infra red control system or even a Harmony 895.

    You could replicate the set up for Bedroom 1 & 2 (use a different manufacturer for the AV receiver so that you have different IR control code sets) but choose a model that allows zone 3 audio (some only have preouts so need a separate power amplifier for the 3rd zone). Or if that is a bit too complicated then just use a speaker switch/volume control to deal with the bathroom.

    If you can get it, run a 5 core mini coax to the bedroom as you can run component video over this cable. If that is too expensive then use 3 runs of CT100 instead for the component video connection.

    It's not going to be as user friendly as true a/v multiroom but you will not get that at your price point. Don't underestmate the cost of cable either just now, copper prices have gone through the roof and this has started to filter through to cable costs - my bulk trade supplier has just doubled the cost of cat5e for example!

    So to recap you would use AV receivers for the distribution, an RF to IR control system for remote control of the central sources, in-ceiling speakers for kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom (possibly with a speaker switch/volume control) and cable/connectors.
     

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